Kate McKinnon plays Hillary Rodham Clinton on the iconic NBC show, Saturday Night Live (SNL). Last summer during a skit on SNL, the Hillary Clinton character blurted out: “It’s my time.” The words were satire, but nevertheless. On Tuesday night during the CNN and Facebook Democratic Debate at the Wynn Las Vegas Casino, with her four Democratic opponents, Hillary Clinton indeed showed it is her time. Politico noted in its headline this morning about the Democratic debate: “Clinton crushes it.” With an able assist from her leading challenger in the form of what Politico described as the night’s “biggest gift” from her self-described Democratic socialist rival, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who uttered the most memorable line of the night.
Sanders told Clinton and the Democratic audience, “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.” Clinton smiled widely and reached over to shake hands with Sanders upon completion of his remarks and told him. “Thank you Bernie.” The room of Democrats went wild at the Wynn resort and casino and there was a “standing ovation among the Democratic attendees of the debate,” according to Politico.
Hillary Clinton was asked who was the enemy she was most proud of having. “In addition to the NRA, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the Iranians — probably the Republicans,” she said summarizing the issues.
Governor Martin O’Malley also called the NRA the “enemy” and he was also strong on gun control, and joined Hillary Clinton in going after the NRA in pressing for increased gun controls to reduce gun violence. Former Sen. Jim Webb defended the 2nd Amendment and made a pitch to the “gun rights” voters and proceeded to attack the rhetoric of the political class by pointing out that the “average American” don’t have armed bodyguards.
Who were the clear-cut winners in this first Democratic debate? “Hillary Clinton and Bernie Show, of course. Hillary Clinton received night’s “biggest gift” from her chief rival in declaring it time for people to shut up about her email scandal. It wasn’t just the line about the “damn emails,” as Hillary Clinton also delivered some of the evening’s most stinging retorts.
When CNN’s Cooper Anderson questioned Clinton about her shifting positions on policy positions, Clinton declared, “I’m a progressive. But I’m a progressive who likes to get things done.”
Bernie Sanders hit on his populist themes of running against the big money on Wall Street and railing against millionaires, billionaires and super PACS from the start. Cooper Anderson asked Sanders about some of his past votes on gun control, giving an opening to Hillary Clinton, who recently released her policy positions on gun control measures.
The other Democrats were regulated more or less into the background. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley made a good showing, but probably not enough to save his candidacy. Jim Webb in particular, complained repeatedly about not getting a chance to speak. Lincoln Chafee, the former Rhode Island politician, had an undistinguished performance. Donald Trump got in on the act too, tweeting “Sorry, there is no STAR on the stage tonight!”